Lots of people out and about today tidying up their gardens. Hopefully some of the overgrown trees, hedges and weeds obstructing footpaths will be getting attention.
Despite several requests for a root cause analysis of, and action to address, littering hot-spots problems continue to grow. There are particular issues on routes used by some students on their way to and from school (although this may be a coincidence).
Hot-spots include snickets and bus stops.
We believe that the Council should increase its surveillance of such locations and issue penalty charge notices to offenders.
We’ll get an idea of the calibre of the newly elected York Councillors this week when they begin to consider how to scrutinise the management performance of the local authority.
A series of updates are being presented.
A typical report is being tabled on housing and community safety issues on 24th June.
What is immediately clear is that no performance indicators have been tabulated (or referenced out). Councillors aren’t being told how long it takes to do things, what any backlogs are, what quality checks are in place or what the levels of public satisfaction are.
Some of the information is available on York Open Data but you have to search for it. Many of the figures are not up to date.
Some major issues are not mentioned at all.
The housing section fails to even mention empty Council garages, tenants don’t feel they can influence decisions (most tenants organisations have folded) and there are delays on the Housing Estate Improvement programmes.
Similarly on community safety (mainly policing matters) anti-social behaviour in sub-urban areas hardly gets a mention. Trends in drug and alcohol abuse are not quantified. Vandalism, criminal damage, graffiti, all of which disfigure residential areas, are ignored. The trend in the number of prosecutions for this type of offence and similar environmental crimes (litter, dog fouling) is not revealed.
The challenge for new Councillors will be not so much to question the information that has been provided by officials, but more to probe the areas where reports are silent.
Residents rightly become irritated when they report public service problems and either they take a long time to clear up or the issue occurs again very soon afterwards.
This is particularly frustrating when potholes reopen and gullies become blocked immediately there is a shower of rain
We think that the York Council needs to get to the root causes of some issues.
They currently spend a lot of money clearing up fly tipping but have been very tardy in advertising the bulky waste collection service the cost of which was reduced substantially in April.
Recurrent litter problems occur on some snickets. It should be possible to identify, and fine, offenders. In some cases the littering is happening everyday.
…but more people need to heed the “Keep Britain Tidy” message
4 volunteers from the Foxwood Residents Association collected 8 bags of rubbish from the Thanet Road Sports Area today. While some could be put down to “litter drift” many of the items had clearly simply been carelessly discarded. These included dozens of cans and bottles.
These sorts of clean ups shouldn’t be necessary. There are several litter bins in the area. Its time for the Council to be more proactive in enforcing anti littering laws. Residents were promised that mobile CCTV cameras would be deployed to litter hot-spots but this hasn’t happened.
Only 5 individuals across the whole city were issued with fixed penalty notices for littering last year
There is also too much fly-tipping of garden waste on amenity areas. The Council needs to get to grips with this while fitting more vandal resistant street furniture.
Meanwhile edging of all the paths in the Foxwood Lane Court area have been completed.